The Details

Typically the smaller the tile, the bigger the price tag when you buy by the square foot. But you can trim the expense of a subway-tile backsplash or bathroom wainscot by as much as half if you get 12-by-12-inch tiles and cut them down yourself, says Trumbull, Connecticut, tile setter George Taterosian. Just rent a masonry wet saw (about $50 a day; see, set the gauge to the dimension you want, and feed the tiles through. In white Carrera marble, that 12-by-12 will cost you about $12, compared with $17 per square foot for the smaller 3-by-6-inch brick-shaped tiles. A horizontal running-bond pattern is the traditional layout for subway tiles, but for a more of-the-moment and high-end look, mount them vertically instead.
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